I have been writing books now for more than forty years, which makes me feel alarmingly old, but each one gives me enormous pleasure, increased when after publication I receive thoughtful comments from readers. Authorship is a lonely business: day after day one sits, as I am now, in the study of my Berkshire home tapping the computer keys amid great heaps of source material, or passing long hours in archives in Britain or the United States. Even after producing more than twenty books, at publication one always undergoes a trial by ordeal, wondering whether reviewers and readers will think the outcome worthwhile. Over the years I have often changed my mind about issues, especially involving the Second World War, after studying new research or reading some important new book.
Journalism, contributions to newspapers and broadcast media, provide an immensely welcome break, thinking and working at a quite different pace from books. Most days, I work all mornings at whatever book I am writing, then turn in the afternoon to contributions for the Daily Mail or reviews for the Sunday Times. It is pleasing to see the fruits of some of one’s labour in print next day or next week, while waiting several years to see a book finished and published. I try to write something almost every day of my life, even on holiday, just as pianists practise. I guess I am a little scared of waking up one morning and finding that I can’t do it any more !
I hope you enjoy this website and find some useful and entertaining information. I am hugely grateful to all of you who read my work and buy my books,